SJAA Ephemeris July 2002 | SJAA Home | Contents | Previous | Next

Letters to the Ephemeris

No Ordinary Planisphere

Jim Van Nuland


In the May issue of the Ephemeris, you give some good tips for beginners wanting to learn the constellations, and point out the weakness of the ordinary planisphere.

It's true that the usual planispheres have tons of distortion anywhere beyond the equator, and are thus useless for the southern sky. But there is one exception: Dave Chandler's "Night Sky," available from Sky Publishing, Orion, and others.

Dave uses both sides of the star disc, with the back a polar projection centered on the south pole! Seen through a window on the back, the southern constellations appear realistic and very recognizable. He also uses such figures as the Teapot, Dipper, etc., so that it nicely matches the sky. I highly recommend it. Catch me at any meeting and I'll show it to you.


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